The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA), has announced the winners of its Sixth Annual Judging of Craft Spirits. The annual Awards marked the official opening day of the 2019 ACSA Distillers Convention and Vendor Trade Show in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Michigan distillers captured nine medals.

According to ACSA, the competition received nearly 500 entries from 38 states and the District of Columbia. Entrants are judged across six main categories: Whiskey, Gin, Rum, Vodka & Grain Spirits, Brandy, and Specialty Spirits. Michigan medalists include:

Long Road Distillers (Grand Rapids)
This West Michigan distillery continues to capture high praise for its Aquavit products. For those not familiar, Aquavit is a Scandinavian-style spirit traditionally distilled from grain or potatoes. It is then flavored with a variety of herbs, spices and/or fruit oils. Commonly used examples include anise, caraway, cardamom, fennel, lemon and orange. The spirit-maker captured two Silver Medals in the Specialty Spirits category, one for Long Road Aquavit and the other for Long Road Old Aquavit. It also received a Bronze Medal in the same category for Long Road Raspberry Liqueur, and broke through in the Brandy category with Long Road Apple Brandy.

New Holland Artisan Spirits (Holland)
Gin was the name of the game at New Holland. The distiller scored 4 medals in the competitive category. The secret, or not so secret, ingredient in Gin is juniper. Beyond that, this incredibly broad category tends to include a wide range of flavor profiles. New Holland captured Bronze honors for its Grapefruit Gin, Blueberry Gin, Knickerbocker Gin, and Barrel Aged Knickerbocker Gin.

Detroit City Distillery (Detroit)
In a nod to the city’s deep bootlegging roots, Detroit City Distillery made an impression on the judges with a rye entry. The Eastern Market distiller grabbed a bronze in the Whiskey category for its Homegrown Rye Reserve.

The 6th Annual American Craft Spirits Competition, held in affiliation with Artisan Spirit Magazine, was judged on October 22-24, 2018, at Greenbar Distilling in Los Angeles. The judges represented a diverse range of spirits experts within the industry, including retailers, bar industry leaders, educators, and journalists. The scoring of spirits was based on a 100-point system, with spirits judged on the overall, cohesive impression of the spirit. Spirits were then assigned a medal based on the average score determined by the following benchmarks: 70-79 = Bronze; 80-89 = Silver; 90-100 = Gold.

Click HERE For the complete list of medals awarded. Stop by the Long Road, New Holland, and Detroit City Distillery tasting rooms to sample the winners for yourself.

Author: Lisa Diggs

Lisa Diggs is a writer, speaker, entrepreneur, business consultant, avid traveler, and founder of The Catalyst Company, LLC, Michigan Positivity Project, and Buy Michigan Now.